TABLE 10-1 Risk of Adverse Child Outcomes and Environmental Conditions Associated with Poverty Status

Child Outcomes

Risk for Poor Relative to Nonpoor Children

Lead poisoning


Birth to unmarried teenager


Short-stay hospital episode


Grade repetition and high school dropout


Low birth weight




Learning disability


Parent report of emotional or behavior problem that lasted 3 months or more


SES Mediators


Child abuse and neglect




Experiencing violent crimes


Substance abuse


a Data from NHANES III, 1988-1991 (Brody et al., 1994). Poor children living in families with incomes less than 130 percent of the poverty threshold are classified as poor. All other children are classified as nonpoor.

b Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) Based on 1,705 children ages 0-6 in 1968; outcomes measured at ages 21 to 27 (Haveman and Wolfe, 1994, p. 108, Table 4.10c).

c Data from the 1988 National Health Interview Survey Child Health Supplement (NHIS-CHS), a nationwide household survey. The household member who knew the most about the sample child's health, usually the child's mother, reported children's health status. Figures calculated from Coiro et al. (1994) and Dawson (1991).

d Data from the National Maternal and Infant Health survey collected in 1989 and 1990, with 1988 as the reference period. Percentages were calculated from the number of deaths and number of low-birthweight births per 1,000 live births as reported in Federman et al. (1996, p. 10).

e Data from the National Health Interview Survey Child Health Supplement (NHIS-CHS). The question was meant to identify children with common psychological disorders, such as attention deficit disorder or depression, as well as severe problems, such as autism.

f Data from Children's Defense Fund (1994, p. 87, Tables 5-6). Poor families are those with annual incomes below $15,000.

g Data from a New Haven Epidemiological Catchment Area in 1980 (Bruce et al., 1991). Poverty status was determined by comparing respondent 's 1980 income to the 1980 poverty threshold. Odds ratio of having depressive episode in six months after first interview. Depressive episode was diagnosed by the DIS. The odds ratio was corrected for age, sex, race, and previous history of depression.

h Data from the National Crime Victimization Interview Survey. Results are for households or persons living in households. Data were collected between January 1992 and June 1993 with 1992 as the reference period. Percentages are calculated from the crimes per 1,000 people per year. Reported in Federman et al. (1996, p. 9).

i Data from the National Comorbidity Survey 1990-1992 (Kessler et al., 1994). Parental sample was restricted to respondents between age 15 and 54. Substance abuse included both alcohol and drug abuse or dependence in the past 12 months, as diagnosed by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Poor respondents were those with incomes of less than $20,000 compared with those with $70,000 or more.

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